I’m it …

The lovely Patroclus has tagged me for a meme. This is good because, to an extent, I seem to have mislaid my mojo. There are all sorts of reasons for this and I’m not too worried about it overall, but it’s still nice to have something to focus on. I’ve got another couple pending too – including one from Mr Locker – which I will get to presently (honest). In an ideal world, this present meme would involve making a podcast but I don’t have the first idea about how to do that (tbh, I’m not even sure I know what a podcast is), so you’ll have to make do with links to …

Anyway, the idea is to list seven songs I’m particularly into at the moment. The only problem has been paring down the list. I listen to music a big lot, and I’m very subject to earworms (please say you know what I mean by that). Like Patroclus, I will throw in – free of charge – some vacuous commentary. Don’t say I’m not good to you.

1) The Cure: Friday, I’m in Love

This is an acoustic version and very lovely too. I’m a big fan of deceptively simple jingly jangly pop and this hits the spot. Doesn’t the bass player (Simon Gallup?) look like David Tennant? My daughter nearly fainted when I played this for her. Anyway, I’m very interested by Robert Smith – he seems to have huge talent and integrity. And his hair is a bit like mine. Really!

2) Talking Heads: Listening Wind

I remember vividly the first time I heard this one. I was living in Paris at the time. I was at a friend’s appartment in Rue Amelot. It was very late. There was a bloke I was vaguely interested in there. Maybe I was a little bit drunk. The bass line – probably Tina Weymouth – is fantastic, don’t you think? I used to have it on vinyl but I recently replaced it with a CD from Tesco – yes, I know, I know. It has a slightly world music feel to it too – although world music hadn’t been invented back in those days. Y’know, if I could have studied anything at all, money (and practicality) no object, I think i’d have done ethno-musicology. Which sort of brings me to …

3) Tinariwen: Cler Achel

This is the song I’ve got on my Myspace profile – that’s how much I like it. I’ve managed to miss seeing them twice in the last couple of years, but I have high hopes for this summer! I can’t even remember where I first heard them, but there’s something about the instrumental part that reminds me of Fairport Convention! How weird is that? Ooh – that bloke in the middle there – that’s what my hair looks like today. Well, a cross between that and Robert Smith.

4) The Clash: Rock the Kasbah

Ludicrous video. Great song. It’s almost disco, isn’t it? This really dates me, of course – I don’t care. Listen to that bass line – so supple! Poor old Joe – a sad loss to British music. I saw them a couple of times – unforgettable. Is that how you spell Kasbah? Totally unrelated (but while I’m on the subject of Kasbahs), I went to Marrakech with my daughter lately – and Essaouira. It was wonderful.

5) Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians

Not a lot of people know this, but I originally studied music at university. I am, to all intents and purposes, the most tremendous geek. I’m very fond of minimalism, and Reich is one of my favourite composers. It was very difficult to find a clip that adequately gets over how fantastic this work is. This is made up of lots of little fragments but the whole piece is quite long and very intense. Try listening to the whole thing – really – it’s hypnotic and, I think, very uplifting.

6) The Kinks: Waterloo Sunset

Listen to those lyrics. Poetry, isn’t it? So tender and so Londonish. And Ray Davies has GOT to be one of the coolest men alive. I used to live in Highgate, and so did he. And I quite often used to see him walking around the village. And I’d go all wobbly and try not to look as if I was staring (which I was).

7) Matt Weddle: Hey Ya

Please listen to this one, even if you don’t bother with anything else. It’s like one of those optical illusions where one minute it looks like two faces and the next it looks like a vase. You think you know this song – the original version by Outkast is great – but this is like a completely different song. If you haven’t heard of them already, the band Obadiah Parker, of which Matt Weddle is a member, is really worth getting to know. The audioclip on their Myspace is better than that Youtube link, actually, but it doesn’t have the advantage of cutting between Weddle and Andre (Ice Cool) 3000. What’s going on with the timing here, btw? Is it an 11-bar phrase? Say of 2/4 bars? Curious.

Notable ommisions: B-52s: Roam (I’m going to see them soon); Stranglers: Duchess; Bob Dylan: Boots of Spanish Leather; Couperin: Les Barricades Mysterieuses; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli … gosh, I could go on and on.




11 thoughts on “I’m it …

  1. Well – keep 26 or 27 Aug free for coming to London to see Tinariwen for FREE! I booked them for From the Basement – e mail me and I will give you more details – or I will e mail you – oh dear – I hope the tooth is better – big hug x

  2. Agreed re. bass line on Rock the Kasbah. Superbly crafted song. I love that guitar strum/stab emphasising the “Rock” in Rock the Kasbah bit. I will check out your other entries ASAP.

    I was about to comment on your trousers on the previous post but I deleted it as it was pants.

  3. I often lose my mojo. It would be helpful to attach to it one of those keyrings that beeps when you whistle at it.

    The way I usually get it back is to read your blog. (Aw, shucks, etc.)

  4. I wish, I wish, I wish this meant more than next to nothing – apart from the Reich and the Palestrina – to me. I expect it’s too late now. All I can do is enthuse about a book a wily bookseller in Nairn pushed into my hands called ‘Clara’ [Schumann, née Wieck] by one Janice Galloway in which each chapter is based on the corresponding Frauenliebe und Leben song, with some very inventive and telling parallels.

  5. ooooooooh romo, i do luv you so. when i read this i made a ludicrous squealing noise and flapped my hands up and down in a way i don’t think i’ve ever done before. i would totally love to see them – and i could interpret, if needs be. (they are from mali, aren’t they? *checks worriedly*)
    brom i have a real weakness for bass lines – as you probably deduce. re previous post – i think everyone is agreed that my trousers are, in fact, pants. very worrying.
    hello chicken (see what i did there?). i think we should patent a mojo finder along the lines you describe. i’m forever losing mine. what a shame the innovations catalogue is no more. (thanks for kind sentiment, btw. mutual, i’m sure)
    och aye steve – it is a fab album. i’ll send over the meme – but i’ll admit i interpreted it loosely. i’m not sure how many people i’m supposed to tag – think i’ll interpret that loosely too. (patroclus doesn’t seem the kind of gal to take offense)
    ah christopher, sorry about that. i came within an ace of choosing a different song by the kinks, ‘days’, and would have drawn a parallel between the sentiment of that and that of ‘ich grolle nicht’ from dichterliebe. that would probably have rung more bells. it’s a fantastic song cycle – there’s so much ambiguity in schuman. heard emanuel ax very recently playing the fantasy op 17, and papillons op 2 (the latter previously unknown to me). fanTAStic stuff.

  6. Oh honey, you don’t need music to lift your mojo, you need your bffl to send you a funny postcard. How much do you Brits charge to exchange a letter, overseas, I’m guessing. Well, let me know. I’d love to take it to the next level and invest in the written word.

    Salutations, and famous quotes I can’t think of.

  7. If you like bass lines in a post-punk stylee then you simply must get some Gang Of Four. Their first two albums in particular, “Entertainment!” and “Solid Gold”, are choc-full of groovy bass.

    And if you want to get a bit weird then check out Primus, eccentric funk metal. The front man, Les Claypool, plays a six-string bass like a mad motherbitch. Not the most accessible of bands but their first three studio albums, “Frizzle Fry”, “Sailing On The Seas Of Cheese” and “Pork Soda” are loaded with barmy bass goodness.

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